This is it. This is the year I've decided to pick a baseball team. It's time to finally settle down, pick a team, and follow through. So my team of choice? The New York Mets.
Now I'm sure to most that this is an odd choice. They aren't what you'd call a winning team. They haven't recently won a World Series. There isn't a major bandwagon to hop on in making this choice.
So why the Mets?
It all started in 2001. When I was 14 years old my best friend and I fell in love with the boys on our town's boys' baseball league.
Before 2001 baseball really wasn't on my radar. My brothers watched it occasionally and sometimes my Dad would take them to games. But for the most part baseball wasn't a big deal in my home or in most of my friends' home either.
Granted, most of my friends at the time were also 14-year-old girls who were more interested in talking on the phone and shopping than home runs and fastballs, but that's beside the point.
In 2000, I started my freshman year of high school: the time to make new friends and, of course, meet new boys. Well, those new boys that I met did this exciting, fun thing after school when springtime came around. They played baseball.
And wouldn't you know it that my best friend and I just so happened to wander up to those baseball fields every Friday night to support our crushes...er, I mean, friends.
But in watching those boys I realized something: I really liked watching the game too. The fresh spring air, the excitement of watching home runs, and the fun of cheering on a team made it a worthwhile way to spend my night.
Not to mention this was an easy sport for a novice like myself to understand. The boys swing, they hit or miss, and if they hit, they run and try to get back to the place they originally swung from. It wasn't the complicated mess that I found football to be the fall before. In baseball I'd found a sport I really enjoyed.
(But goodness, looking back, I feel proud to see how much my sports and football knowledge has grown.)
But my problem arose when it came time to sit down and watch baseball on TV. My best friend and I would talk on the phone during Yankees games, her team of choice, but I just couldn't find the motivation to sit still. The games on TV lacked spring air, the boys I knew, and, really, I just felt bored.
So for the next few years I bounced around the idea of baseball: I liked the sport but never fell in love or found the motivation to pick a team. Still, whenever the opportunity to go to a live game came up, I always took it.
The first MLB game I went to was in 2004. It was Mets-Yankees at Shea Stadium. While this game didn't give me an instant love for my new team, it kept the idea of baseball fresh in my mind with a few added perks. The main perk was that baseball fans were incredible.
In the row in front of me and my then-boyfriend, four Mets fans proudly sat...er, well stood during the game. These fans were in their early 20s and made the game that much more worthwhile. They'd scream, they'd cheer, they'd boo. Their enthusiasm brought about this whole new atmosphere, one that brought a whole new life to the game for me, and one that's stuck with me.
Now that 2010 is here, I've decided that this is the year I wanted a team of my own. I love football and feel solid enough in my knowledge to branch out into another sport. Since I've already missed almost all of the NBA season, and with this fondness for baseball in my heart, I've decided that picking a baseball team was the logical choice.
So why the New York Mets?
First I decided I wanted an underdog team. I love an underdog. They're a team that you don't expect to come out victorious and, in the end, they end up shocking everyone. To me, an underdog win means more than it does for a team that's constantly winning because the fans appreciate it more and the team works harder to make that win happen.
So this meant that, although they're a fun team and one most of my friends are die-hard fans of, the Yankees were out.
Second, I wanted a local team. I love the Carolina Panthers with all my football-bearing heart, but it's difficult to see them in person. I'm either the odd man out in the stadium, praying that the Jets and Giants fans don't eat me alive, or I'm stuck watching the GameTrax on ESPN.com or Fox Sports. So I wanted a team whose games I could easily go to or watch on TV.
So this then meant that, as much as I have a soft spot in my heart for them and as much as Boston is one of my all-time favorite cities, the Red Sox were out.
Being from NJ, a team without a baseball team to call their own, this left me with two tri-state area options: the Phillies or the Mets.
This decision was tough because I really like both teams. Both are underdogs, both have the proximity, and I've had a ton of fun going to each of their games. But I don't know enough about either team's stats to really use that as the basis for my choice.
So there was only one deciding factor left. One decision maker that is my tried and true method.
Which team's colors do I like the best?
When it comes down it I love blue a lot more than I love red.
So there you have it, my baseball team of choice is the NY Mets. Stay tuned for upcoming blogs while I get to know my new team and follow them through the 2010 season.
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